Since NASA’s Perseverance rover arrived on Mars in early 2021, there has been great expectation for its work and its possible findings, especially for the site where it would work: the Jezero crater, one of the most important on the red planet.
At first, the robot had to support repairs and some flight issues for the Ingenuity helicopter until months later it was able to start with its real task: to find evidence that there was once water in Jezero.
Thus, what initially began as a simple hypothesis became a truth and after several months of work, Perseverance found pockets of what was once a large body of water on Mars.
“The findings are based on detailed images the rover provided of long, steep slopes called escarpments or escarpments in the delta, which were formed from the accumulation of sediment at the mouth of an ancient river that long ago fed the lake of the crater ”, indicated the United States Space Agency, through a report published in the journal Science.
The photos captured by NASA’s six-wheeler show a series of rocks in the upper part of the crater, in addition to a very fine grain in the lower part of the delta that would reveal the existence of the vital liquid in this area of Mars.
“This is the key observation that allows us to confirm once and for all the presence of a lake and river delta in Jezero. Gaining a better understanding of hydrology months before we arrive in the delta will pay big dividends in the future, ”said Nicolas Mangold, Perseverance scientist at the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique in Nantes, France.
What is achieved with this discovery?
Of course, saying: “there was water on Mars” is a phrase that marks the history of space travel and the human being as such, taking into account that it is a discovery that is born after the investment of many lives, time and money in order to increase the knowledge we have of the universe.
However, parallel to discovering that Jezero was a large body of water, there are also other findings that, in case of giving the desired results, would demonstrate the existence of life on Mars. “Where there was water surely there was life” is the argument used by many scientists and it is precisely in this “crazy” idea that this whole project makes sense.
Likewise, the view of the escarpments in the delta offer great value to the study of the crater, since the rocks obtained in these sites have been converted into a map that shows the points to which Perseverance can go directly with the illusion of finding more and more details of the aquatic past of Mars and of course of possible traces of life (even microbial) in its territory.
In this way, the discovery of a past with water on Mars has not only become the greatest discovery on the red planet, but it also gives clues of what could have been an existence with life in said star.